Pittsburgh somehow made their way into the playoffs in a year where many thought they wouldn't. It took some help during the final week of the regular season, but the Steelers got to the dance. It has been an up and down year that ultimately ended with more success than many predicted. A Rolodex of players at different positions has provided some people to rebound and come out of the woodwork.
Mason Rudolph is a prime example of the players that have taken advantage of their opportunities. Chunks of the starting defense have reverted to guys who have not played much this season. Guys that were sitting at home waiting for another NFL shot.
Trenton Thompson is a shining example for the Steelers resilience
Trenton Thompson has been a player who showed up out of nowhere towards the end of the season. He sat on the practice squad for some time and kept getting a promotion when the vast injuries to the safety position popped up. Even when he got injured, Thompson found ways of making himself available in a quick manner.
First Minkah Fitzpatrick went down with an injury, then Keanu Neal soon followed. Then Damontae Kazee was lost to injury and suspension throughout the season. Fitzpatrick did return for a short period, but he would get injured and sent back out of the lineup again. It's been tough sledding for that group as a whole.
Thompson has been one of the most steady pieces on defense since all of these practice squad guys have been forced into starting roles. The Steelers defense has held up well since all their problems have surfaced via injuries. Thompson not only saved his 2024 season, but he might have saved his future football career.